When Satoshi Nakamoto first introduced Bitcoin, it was possible for people to mine bitcoins using laptops and desktops.
Original bitcoin miners used standard multi-core CPU. The difficulty of mining was very low. In fact, if you had a couple of computers lying around with decent specs, you could have earned around $5 a day.
Then, came the introduction of large-scale mining operations and the emergence of ASIC software. created specifically for mining. This made it impossible to profit using standard home computers.
However, with the advent of ASICs resistant algorithms, it is still possible to mine cryptocurrencies from home in 2020 using CPUs and GPUs. In this article, we will look at five popular and viable home mining alternatives.
Cryptocurrencies to Mine
Ethereum (ETH) is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency. It currently uses a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. This is similar to Bitcoin. It requires developers to authenticate and validate transactions on the blockchain.
However, it must be noted that at some stage in 2020, we expect it to migrate to a Proof of Stake (PoS). This negates the necessity of mining to validate transactions and achieve consensus on the blockchain.
Ethereum’s current PoW mechanism utilizes the ASIC-resistant Ethash algorithm, which permits home mining. However, to maximize earnings, miners have to acquire the most powerful graphics cards on the market. They then share their processing power over the network by joining mining pools.
Mining ETH is a straightforward process once you download the blockchain from the Ethereum website. After you set up your wallet, you can start mining by changing a few settings on your node.
Vertcoin (VTC), also known as the people’s coin, is a digital currency launched in 2014. It was designed to be decentralized and mined by anyone. To accomplish this the developers created an ASIC resistant PoW blockchain. This means that GPU’s and CPU’s are the most effective way of mining the currency.
What makes Vertcoin so popular for home miners is its Lyra2RE algorithm. Vertcoin was specifically designed to support easy mining. To get started, miners simply have to download the software. After that, they can then join a mining pool to increase processing power and profits.
Grin (GRIN) is a relatively new coin. It was launched in January 2019. It focuses on privacy and scalability, Grin employs the MimbleWimble implementation which supports both CPU and GPU mining.
To counter the threat of ASIC miners specifically for its network, the blockchain developers have hardcoded a hard fork to occur every six months.
Mining Grin the GPU way is quite a hardware intensive. Miners here have a few things to consider. First, is the need for a powerful Nvidia graphic card. These can be expensive at first but more cost-effective in the long run.
Next, memory needs to be considered. Miners will require a minimum of 5.5 GB of space to get started. Finally, miners will have to guard against excessive heat levels, which have the potential to damage hardware.
To begin mining Grin, miners can download the blockchain and set up a node. Once the blockchain is synced with your wallet you need to configure your graphics card, so it is compatible with your wallet.
ZCash (ZEC) is one of the leading enhanced privacy coins favored by the likes of Edward Snowden. It is similar to Bitcoin with a fixed total supply of 21 million tokens.
ZEC’s PoW consensus mechanism utilizes the Equihash algorithm. This helps it remain ASIC resistant. This allows home miners with a GPU to participate in the network.
Like Grin it is also quite hardware intensive and miners will require graphics cards to boost their processing power. Another concern is overheating. Miners are advised to use fans to cool the GPUs.
To start mining ZCash you will first need to download both the blockchain to set up the node. Then, the software to control the hardware. Furthermore, you will have to download the drivers for the graphics cards.
Due to excessive energy requirements, it is advisable to consider joining mining pools to maximize profits.
Beam (BEAM) is an open-source cryptocurrency. It runs on the MimbleWimble implementation similar to Grin. It is well suited to home mining and employs the Beam Hash II algorithm. This is a modification of the Equihash algorithm.
To start mining Beam, miners first have to download the official Desktop Wallet. Also, the algorithm does support GPU mining and is privacy-friendly if that’s your thing.
To maximize privacy, Beams network necessitates the use of expiring addresses. Miners must create a permanent address to ensure their tokens won’t be lost.
YOU DO THIS by creating a new address and setting it to never expire. Once the permanent address is secured, turn on the ‘Run Local Node’ feature. Next, set the number of mining threads to a number greater than zero to begin.
It’s All About Trial and Error
There are many more cryptocurrencies you can mine from home on your laptop or phone even. These are just 5 that I like to mine myself and I recommend giving them a try.
If you’re interested in mining on your home computer, always do some research. The costs change a lot, and advice on mining can become outdated quickly. But I do recommend it, especially if you live in an area where the electricity is cheaper.
If anyone has any other ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.